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Best things to do in Vilnius

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Lithuania  /  Vilnius County  /  Vilnius

Top 15 things to do in Vilnius

1. KGB Museum (Genocido Auku Muziejus)

Housed in the former headquarters of the Soviet Union's notorious security service, KGB Museum (Genocido Auku Muziejus) documents the tactics of the secret police and memorializes the victims. Though Lithuania was a part of the USSR until its independence in 1990, its forcible incorporation into the country in 1940 led to a great deal of resentment and resistance against Russia. Visit the museum to see a multitude of exhibits displaying personal items of victims of the 50-year occupation who were killed in this very building. Don't miss the prison here, where many of the most ghastly abuses were carried out. Keep in mind that, due to the brutal subject matter, the museum may not be suitable for young children.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $6 › Learn more about KGB Museum (Genocido Auku Muziejus)

2. Walking tours

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $32 › Learn more about Walking tours

3. Gediminas Castle Tower

Perched atop a hill on the site of a medieval castle, Gediminas Castle Tower today offers both sweeping views of Vilnius and represents one of the city's (and the country's) most enduring symbols. Originally a part of a 15th-century brick fortress, the tower's current iteration is the result of a reconstruction in 1930. Wander the path from the base of the hill to the tower and be rewarded with panoramic views of Vilnius' old and new areas, as well as the surrounding hills. Climb to the top of the structure for completely unobstructed views. Be sure to take a look at the small archaeological and historical exhibitions within, detailing the origins and history of the tower, as well as Lithuania's split from the Soviet Union in 1990.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Gediminas Castle Tower

4. Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Vilnius Old Town

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Vilnius is one of a very few European capitals allowing hot air ballooning in its skies. Do not miss your chance and experience an amazing hot air balloon ride over the majestic baroque Old Town of Vilnius. Forget about regular sightseeing and seize the moment observing the UNESCO heritage site in the perfect lighting.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $181 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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Best tours in Vilnius

5. Trakai Island Castle Museum, Trakai

The erstwhile political epicenter of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Trakai Island Castle Museum today provides a striking example of an island fortress in Europe and remains one of the country's most famous symbols. Built in several stages beginning in the 14th century, the castle fell into ruin during the 1600s; however, a major push after World War II led to its complete restoration. Cross the wooden bridge to access the castle and its massive defensive towers and gate, situated on a tiny islet just offshore from its namesake town. Within the walls lies yet another fortified bastion. Wander its multiple floors and view exhibitions displaying medieval artifacts, armor, and weapons. The site documents both the history of the castle and its role in the nation's past. Be sure to stop by the grand hall, where rulers such as national hero Vytautas held feasts and state meetings.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Tours from $495 › Learn more about Trakai Island Castle Museum

6. Vilnius Old Town

Home to winding medieval streets, defensive walls, ornate Baroque churches, and a host of historical buildings, Vilnius Old Town earned World Heritage Site status with its extensive and well-preserved mixture of architectural styles. The area has origins in the 13th century and became the capital of the powerful Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 1300s. Enter through the old fortified gate and stroll down the hill to the main square and town hall, and then onward to the base of the castle-topped hill. As you wander the cobbled streets past buildings of both brick and stone, consider ducking into one of the traditional Lithuanian restaurants or bars. Keep an eye out for some of the 40 churches in the city center, ranging from Catholic cathedrals with elegant interiors to domed Russian Orthodox temples. Top attractions include Vilnius Cathedral Square, Bell Tower of Vilnius Cathedral, Arkikatedra Bazilika, Gate of Dawn, and Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $50 › Learn more about Vilnius Old Town

7. St. Anne's Church

An ornate example of Gothic architecture within the historical city center, St. Anne's Church and its red brick spires represent one of Vilnius' most recognizable buildings. Originally constructed in 1500, the church survived multiple wars, conflicts, and 50 years of Soviet rule. Legend has it that the invading Napoleon found it so beautiful that he wished to send it brick-by-brick back to Paris for his own. Despite the outside, its interior is Baroque: keep an eye out for the ornate altar and carved wooden statues. Take in the sizeable stained-glass windows, high vaulted ceilings, and incorporation of the church's signature bricks into the arches themselves.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $6 › Learn more about St. Anne's Church

9. Hill of Three Crosses

According to local legend, Hill of Three Crosses sits on the site of a medieval chapel, although its significance today stems from its vantage point over Vilnius and its role as a symbol of hope and spirituality in Lithuania. Originally constructed in 1916 to replace previous wooden crosses, the concrete structure was destroyed by Soviet authorities in 1950. Its renewal in 1989 brought new meaning to the hill, which offers a sweeping view of the city. Climb to the top via wooden steps and pathways to the park and network of trails at the summit, where you'll grasp just how large the crosses are. In addition to the view, you'll get a chance to see a piece of the previous, destroyed crosses on display. Keep in mind that the route up the hill is quite steep, and therefore those with mobility issues should proceed with caution.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $71 › Learn more about Hill of Three Crosses

10. Uzupis

Home to Vilnius' thriving arts community and a wealth of historical buildings, churches, and streets, Uzupis claims to be the bohemian capital of the city. Though adjacent to the attractions of Vilnius' old town, the neighborhood possesses a distinctly different feel and charm thanks to its quirky nature--in 1997 it declared independence as "The Republic of Uzupis," a title it wears proudly. Cross the river (or, as the locals call it, "border") via one of several bridges and wander through the winding alleys of the mostly residential area, chock-full of trendy cafes, street art, galleries, and exhibitions. You'll discover a small square within, home to a large bronze statue of a triumphant angel. Don't miss the "Constitution" posted on the wall near the main entrance in multiple languages; it details the district's sometimes-paradoxical and humorous philosophy.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Uzupis

11. Gate of Dawn

The sole surviving example of the five gates that once ringed and protected Vilnius, Gate of Dawn represents the site of a Renaissance chapel and one of the main entrances to the historical city center. Originally built during the first two decades of the 16th century, the gates from outside the defensive city walls appear as an imposing and solidly built tower. On the reverse side, however, the gate frames an ornate church straddling the tunnel. Peer through the windows to catch a glimpse of the chapel within. Climb up to the chapel via the door located next to the gate to view an intimate prayer room complete with a gilded icon of the Virgin Mary, meant to bless visitors and travelers alike. Take note that Mary is depicted alone, rather than holding Jesus.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Gate of Dawn

12. Small-Group Mountain Bike Tour to Pavilniai Regional Park

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Bike tour for mountain bike lovers meant to introduce the exceptional landscape of winding rivers, waving hills, and breath-taking viewpoints around Vilnius.Mountain biking can be enjoyed by everyone as long as you can ride a bike, you are good to go!The tour rides along Belmontas park with former cannon production facility and old watermill exposition; to the top of Pūčkoriai viewing point, the most important geological monument of Lithuania; through Pavilniai and Markučiai resort towns with enchanting wooden architecture along River Vilnia. Distance: 22 km.Cycling surface: 20 % forest tracks, 30 % gravel roads and 50 % low-traffic paved roads.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $38 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Church Of St Peter And St Paul

Considered perhaps the pinnacle of Baroque church architecture in Lithuania, Church Of St Peter And St Paul offers visitors the chance to see a wealth of ornate decoration and more than 2,000 carved stucco figures. Finished in 1701, the church and its grounds are ringed by a high wall and several smaller chapels. Enter the main basilica to see its brilliant white interior replete with reliefs, paintings, and columns. Wander inside and explore the different chapels, connected along the perimeter of the building with a series of aisles. Watch for the skeletal statue of Death, a grim reminder of mortality included by the designers of the church, placed among statues of Jesus and other religious figures.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Church Of St Peter And St Paul

14. Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

See what once was the political, cultural, and administrative center of the Lithuanian empire at Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. It housed the royalty of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, including Grand Duke Alexander of Lithuania, who later became the King of Poland, and Sigismund I the Old and his heirs. The palace was almost completely destroyed in 1801 after the fall of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but was fully restored and modernized by the government in 2002. Explore the National Museum located inside, displaying historical artifacts and art from across Eastern Europe. Tours will lead you through the architectural development of the palace, the remaining ancient ruins, the Treasury Hall, and the Ceremonial Halls.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $6 › Learn more about Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

15. Three Capitals of Lithuania Trakai Kernave Vilnius

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Enjoy this tour and take the opportunity to see three towns vital for the history of Lithuania. You will explore Kernave with its Unesco-protected hill-forts; Trakai with its wonderful Island castle; and Vilnius an its Unesco-protected old town. You can customize this tour and include optional sites for free - Peter and Paul church in Vilnius, Uzupis district. You can also enjoy a Boat trip in Trakai (for additional charge). Lunch at traditional restaurant and entrance fees are not included in the price.
Suggested duration: 6 to 8 hours
Tours from $209 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

Best tours in Vilnius